Darbar Sahib, Amritsar is a unique, sacred, and historical
centre of Sikhism. This is the most sacred important place
for the Sikhs, which needs its conservation for the future
generations of the humanity including the Sikhs living all
over the world.
May 2002 the Secretariat of the SGPC requested the Secretariat
of the Archaeology and Cultural Heritage, Punjab Government
for information to include the Darbar Sahib into the list
of World Heritage. Punjab Government introduced SGPC to
the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage
(INTECH). INTECH deputed Cultural Research and Conservation
Institute (CRCI) for preparation of the Dossier. The Secretariat
of the SGPC according to their resolution No. 802 dated
August 10, 2002 formed a committee to take the necessary
actions for the grant of World Heritage Status for Darbar
Sahib. Two members of the SGPC (Bibi Kiranjot Kaur as the
Director of the Project), experts from the Archaeological
Survey of India (ASI), and theologians were deputed to prepare
an elaborate 400-page dossier.
team of the CRCI stayed at the Sarai of Darbar Sahib for
four months and collected the important information on interpretation
of historical, archaeological, and religious information
from the scholars of the Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.
When the Dossier was ready it was given to the Dr S S Bhuparai,
Vice Chancellor, Punjabi University, Patiala for verification
of the above information by the scholars of his university.
is a pity that various Sikh Organisations instead of suggesting
the improvement of the Dossier recommended withdrawal of
the Dossier on the following three major objections:
1. The Management of Darbar Sahib will be interfered by
the Government of India (GOI) and the UNESCO.
2. The Darbar Sahib will be turned into a Cultural Centre
and its religious sanctity will be lost.
3. The Dossier was full of misrepresentations of Gurbani
and Sikh history.
much so the four members out of the 5-member Committee appointed
by the SGPC to evaluate the Dossier gave conflicting reports.
Although all the five members agreed that there are some
anomalies but none of them suggested how to remove those
anomalies and improve its representation.
letter to Bibi Kiranjot Kaur from the Director-General of
the ASI states that the management of Shri Harmandar Sahib
would continue to remain with the SGPC and there would be
no change at all to this management as a result of its inscription
as the WHS. The letter further reads that UNESCO does not
and will not impose management discretions on the WHS. Any
suggestion from UNESCO would only be advisory in nature
(as an expert body) with regard to upholding and conserving
the heritage value of the site. The full responsibility
for the protection as well the suggested conservation of
the heritage property will be with the SGPC. "The Government
of India will not have any role in the management of Golden
Temple"; the communication of ASI Director-General
in view the advantages and importance of World Heritage
Status for the Darbar Sahib there seems to be a general
consensus among majority of Sikhs around the world that
rejection of the dossier was done in haste without due consideration
being given to all the facts.
is also general consensus of the most of the Sikhs that
the dossier is kept pending and that a 5-member non-political
Task Force of Sikh experts from around the world be appointed
by the SGPC:
1. to review the dossier,
2. to remove anomalies,
3. to ascertain once again that the sovereignty of the Darbar
Sahib will be
before the Dossier is re-submitted for grant of the WHS
to the Darbar Sahib, Amritsar.
main goal of the WHS status is to ensure that the original
and old artworks / architecture are properly persevered
/ protected from random destruction and makeovers by different
will open an avenue to get the WHS for Nankana Sahib in
Pakistan and other Gurdwaras in the world.
Please send the above letter to:
President, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Amritsar,
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org,
Fax : + 91-183-255-3919.
1. Kiranjot Kaur, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee,
Amritsar, Punjab, India
Email : email@example.com
2. Devinder S. Chahal, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
co-operation in this matter will be greatly appreciated.